Directing opportunities
Regional Young Directors’ Scheme (actually not just for young people)


Support for theatre/performance artists in the North West
HOME Manchester runs an annual festival of new northern work, and workshops/activities throughout the year.
Royal Exchange Manchester programmes contemporary work in the Studio
Sick Festival Manchester – work in progress opportunities
Flare Festival – Manchester – work in progress opportunities
Live Art Bistro – Leeds – work in progress opportunities and artist support
Form – Blackpool – work in progress opportunities and artist development
Dance ManchesterWord of Warning – work in progress opportunities and mentoring
New Writing North – open calls, writing development
Electric Sunshine Project – Blackpool – writing for theatre courses 

Arc Stockton – various open calls, work in progress, artist development
Royal Court – rolling script reading service (plays)
Mothers Ruin – queer artist development

Annual/periodic opportunities
Summerhall Edinburgh Fringe open call (contemporary theatre)
Vault Festival annual open call (contemporary & fringe theatre)
Bruntwood Prize (plays/theatre)
Verity Bargate Award (plays/theatre)
Jerwood Performing Arts Micro Bursary artists/producers/individuals
Word of Warning – Emergency work in progress event in Manchester, takes place in October
The Lowry – Manchester venue – artist development schemes
Artist International Development FundThe Yard – London – open calls for new work
British Council
Edinburgh Fringe Emerging Producers’ Programme 

Useful documents 


Leadership & Advice

Contemporary arts organisations in Blackpool

Grundy Art Gallery (visual art)
Abingdon Studios (visual art)
Form Blackpool (performance & theatre)
LeftCoast (mixed arts)
Grand Theatre (dance: has a contemporary dance programme and NPO status for it, besides a traditional theatre programme)
Fylde Coast Youth Dance (young people)
Supercollidor (visual art)
Art B and B (visual art)
Bootleg Social (music)
UNIT (visual art)

Poetry and spoken word in Blackpool
Pub Poets

Lancashire Dead Good Poets

More arts organisations in Blackpool

Altruism (creative social network)
Winter Gardens Film Festival

Aunty SocialAlt Blackpool (culltural magazine)
Blackpool LibrariesElectric Sunshine Project (community theatre)
Blackpool University (university of creative arts)
Phil Winston’s Theatreworks (dance & musical theatre, commercial training)
Musica Lirica OperaBlott Studios (visual art)Blackpool SpeakeasyCVS (support to community, voluntary and faith organisations)Blackpool Museum (coming soon)Rock Hard Music Studios
Skool of Street (dance)
Tramshed (theatre company, satellite of Chickenshed)
ICAN – independent network
Heritage Blackpool
Blackpool Civic Trust (heritage and civic activities)
Funny Girls (burlesque cabaret showbar)


Windsor Ambassador Supremus Tenor Banjo in The Whirle range (registration number 450220) - Renovation Project

Following a prompt from an old mate, I decided to dig out my rather tired and neglected Tenor Banjo and renovate it. I found this reference to the actual model, much to my surprise.

I am in the process of renovating a Windsor Ambassador Supremus Tenor Banjo one of the Whirle range with the registration number 450220. This number appears to refer to the model rather than the individual instrument. The banjo was given to me by my Jazz crazy friend, fellow Guinness drinker, founder and leader of the Wyre Levee Jazz Men, the late, lamented, Dr. Andy Gardner. I hate to admit it but at the time it was just a banjo to me. I had not really taken much notice of its pedigree, hitherto.

When I gave up playing in the band the banjo found itself consigned to a shelf at the back of the garage, since when it has moved house twice. I feel really guilty for not knowing more about it as an instrument, and for having so badly neglected it.

However, prompted by the Facebook post from a friend, to a link of  Blind James Campbell and the Nashville Street Band performing "John Henry" I was prompted to dig it out and get stuck into renovating it. I have ordered a new calfskin head and a new set of strings, so watch this space.

Here are a few photographs of the parts of the banjo in their present state.

The photographs speak for themselves, the split head, the missing head tensioning hooks (3) as well as the manufactures badge and the patented Pyxe tailpiece. The original nickel plating is quite badly corroded and the woodwork shows a few knocks and bangs. But all in all, it is perfectly repairable and I hope to have it sympathetically restored fairly quickly subject to finding a few missing bits.

For those who may be interested there is a brief history of the banjo in the BBC project "A History of the World - In 100 Objects" web page. One of the objects being a Winsor Tenor Banjo. Follow this link to find out more.

The Tenor Banjo is used extensively in both Irish traditional music and Traditional Jazz. It has a shorter scale than the G Banjo, and 4 strings tuned CGDA, but it is common for Irish musicians to retune down to GDAE using thicker strings. Used in jazz and popular music earlier this century, the tenor banjo has 4 strings and is usually tuned CGDA.

Tenor banjo should not be confused with plectrum style which was used much like the tenor but has a longer neck (22 frets) and a different tuning. Jazz players like the extra frets because they can use the same chord shapes and patterns in different positions. The Plectrum Banjo or 4-String G banjo has the same tuning and neck length as a 5-string G banjo but omits the 5th string. The lack of a 5th string peg facilitates quick thumb movement up and down the neck and as the neck is longer than on the tenor banjo a lot more chord inversions are available to the jazz player.


Large Format Photography - School of Arts Loughborough University

I found the Photography Blog of Ben Dolman & Alan Duncan who are from the School of the Arts at Loughborough University when looking for information about Wet Plate photography. The Blog is a great resource for almost all things photography but particularly analogue and alternative photography.

I was attracted at first by their Build a 10x8 Large Format camera articles but soon discovered lots of other goodies. I suggest you follow the link http://cdtp-photography.blogspot.co.uk/ and discover a well constructed and written Blog that is cram packed full of info and ideas for yourself. Happy reading...